I've previously posted here and on Wattpad the previous three chapters of "In the Name of Revenge." Here now is the fourth chapter. Enjoy!
The day Felice gave birth, Pavel went to the hospital. He learned that she had a baby girl and she was fine. Although he wanted to, he didn’t have the heart to look at their daughter and then walk away.
He couldn’t let them find out he had a daughter. If they knew, they would use her against him. He walked away from Felice that day because he had to. He was in love with her, but to protect her, himself and their child, convinced her he didn’t want the responsibility of children. He lied. He wanted nothing more than to be a family with Felice and their daughter. He wanted the all-American dream: white picket fence, a beautiful wife and wonderful children to come home to.
All too often however, he wasn’t home every night. They made him run from city to city, state to state, always at their bidding. Whenever and wherever…what kind of family life would that be? Additionally, he couldn’t let Felice be subjected to the threats he dealt with on a daily basis.
In the beginning, Felice was nothing but an amusement, a fling. She was beautiful and fun to be around. Despite that, over the short period of time they were together, he fell in love with her. Then…she told him she was pregnant. In no way could he put them through what he endured so many years ago. He could not stand the thought that Felice or his daughter could one day witness his murder as he did his parents’. He loved them too much to allow them to see something so tragic.
She had no knowledge of what he actually did. If she did, he doubted she would even have been with him in the first place. It was not something he wanted to do. It was something he knew his parents would expect of him.
To say his father’s career choice and the ultimate deaths of his parents changed his life is not only a cliché, but an understated one. He grew up to respect his parents, despite what Ivan, his father used to do for a living. Even though he hated it, the beginning of the end was constantly on his mind. He wasn’t able to stop the memories.
When he was thirteen, he begged his father to let him go with him to some meeting he was to have late that night. When his father told him no, he decided he would go anyway. He overhead Ivan tell his mother, Valentina he was going to make a telephone call and then leave. He grabbed the opportunity while his parents weren’t looking. He sneaked into the garage and hid on the floor in the back seat of his father’s car, knowing Ivan would never guess he was there. Little did he know, this one careless mistake would alter his life forever. It set him on a path of self-destruction.
To Pavel, it seemed they drove for miles. It was uncomfortable being cramped up in a ball on the floor. He couldn’t wait to be able to straighten his legs again. When the car stopped, his father got out. When he thought it was safe to do so, Pavel slowly popped his head up and looked around. They were in an alley. The area was full of abandoned warehouses. He unraveled himself, straightened his aching legs and cautiously crept out of the car, wondering which way his father went.
Before he had a chance to ponder a direction, a door to one of the warehouses suddenly flung open and smashed into the wall. A man ran out, not seeing Pavel. He quickly ducked down and hid by the rear tire of his father’s car.
Pavel slowly and carefully poked his head up over the edge of the trunk of the car in time to see his father dash out of the same door, holding a gun.
“Richmond, you’re not going anywhere. When the boss says it’s over, it’s over,” he heard his father tell the other man. “When you doubled-crossed him, you should have known what would happen.”
Pavel was unable to look away. The horror of seeing his father holding a man at gunpoint rendered him incapable of moving. He was on his knees with his small hands on the trunk of his father’s car, staring at the scene in front of him. With no feelings apparent in his eyes, his father took aim and shot the man in the back as he tried to run away. The man went down and his father slowly sauntered over to him. Pavel could see the man use what strength he had left to try and push himself up, but his father again raised the gun and shot the man in the back of the head.
That’s when Pavel screamed. He couldn’t believe his father just coldly killed someone point blank, without a second thought. He was so scared he wet his pants. His father came running around the side of the car, gun in hand and aimed, then stopped short when he saw it was his son. He quickly dropped the hand that was holding the gun to his side.
Stunned to find it was his son who witnessed the incident, Ivan quickly stuffed his gun in the waste of his pants, put Pavel in the car and drove off. He tore out of the alleyway and onto the main street, nearly colliding with a car to the side of him. Horns blared and Pavel felt as if he was watching a gangster movie instead of living this nightmare.
Running his hand through his hair, Ivan looked at his son solemnly and said, “You cannot tell anyone what you just saw.”
Pavel couldn’t respond. He just sat there with his mouth open, staring at his father. He couldn’t even feel. He didn’t know what to think. He was in shock, not wanting to believe his father could commit such an act.
“Son, did you hear me?”
When Pavel still didn’t answer him, Ivan took his hand in his.
“Pavel, what I just did…well…it was wrong. It’s only a job. Someday, you’ll grow up to understand that.”
Pavel looked away, jerked his hand out of his father’s and uttered one word, “Coward.”
“I suppose I am, at that. Listen, I love you, son. Let’s get you home and we’ll talk tomorrow.”
When the next day came however, his father was called out of town and didn’t return for a week. It was a short week for Pavel because he didn’t want his father to even come back. This wasn’t the father he knew. His father didn’t go around shooting people, especially in the back. Nothing he did that week could make him forget the horror he witnessed. He fell asleep at night with the images floating around in his head, causing him to have nightmares. He’d awake in the morning after only a few hours sleep with the sight of the events burning his vision. He watched news reports of the man being found dead. The police were asking for anyone who saw anything to come forward. He thought about going to the cops, but figured they wouldn’t believe him because he was just a kid. He became quiet and subdued in school, which was completely out of character. His mother kept asking what was wrong, to which he’d reply one word each time, nothing.
When Ivan returned home, he tried to talk to Pavel to make him understand that what he did would not happen again. Something changed for Ivan the night his son witnessed him kill someone. It was something he couldn’t stand the thought of. Pavel said but one word to Ivan since the event happened. One word that Ivan agreed described him to a tee…coward. He shot someone in the back as he tried to run away. It wasn’t the first time, but he vowed it would be his last. His heart broke every time he looked at his son, knowing his own flesh and blood now thought so little of him almost killed him.
He tried to explain all of this to Pavel, but it all came out wrong. Pavel just didn’t understand. He was too young. It was at that moment his father decided he was leaving the organization. He refused to have his son ever see something like that again. He couldn’t stand to see the hate and pain in Pavel’s eyes each time he looked at him. His only hope was he would one day forgive him.
That one simple word, the one his son used to describe him was again on his mind when he packed up his family late one night and left. For five years, they eluded the organization. Initially, he told his wife he needed to relocate due to his job, which wasn’t a total lie. Eventually however, he confessed everything to Valentina and begged her forgiveness. As hard as it was, she did and remained faithful to Ivan until they day they died, together. A day both of them knew would come. There would be no escape for them, but for Pavel they prayed a long, safe life. This is what he fought to give his son, to try to make up for what he allowed Pavel to witness.
The Mancini family was a crime organization. They were the ones responsible for the death of his parents. After Ivan moved his family to try and escape imminent fatalities, they never stayed in one place long for fear of being found. Pavel grew up to understand, just as his father predicted and with that understanding, came respect. He respected his mother for the unending love and support she gave his father and when Ivan left the organization, Pavel grew to respect him, even though it put them all in danger every day. He realized what his father gave up for him and what he tried to give his family now: safety. Unfortunately his ideas didn’t come to pass. Instead it put his family more at risk.
Ultimately, the time in hiding came to an end. Just as Pavel started to feel a little normalcy in his life, things became even worse. Little did he know when he woke up that morning he would be witnessing another murder…the murder of his parents. Just a month before, he graduated from high school and was enjoying the summer before he was due to begin college in the fall.
He planned on studying to become a doctor. He would often play with the title, Dr. Pavel Ivanovich. He loved the sound of it. He wanted to be an emergency room doctor because of all the drama and hustle and bustle of it all. None of it came to pass. Instead, all of his dreams were shattered in one night.
That day started out like any other. He visited his friends and talked about what party they would go to that weekend. He didn’t know it at the time, but there would be no party and no more enjoying the summer. His entire life was about to change…again. His dream of becoming a doctor died that night.
He came home, expecting his mother to tell him to get washed up for dinner. Instead, as he walked into the house, he was immediately grabbed from behind and thrown into the wing chair that sat in the living room close to the front door. Struggling was to no avail. He was held down, unable to move his arms. He flailed his legs, but was no match for the muscular man holding him captive. The man first gagged Pavel and then tied him to the chair.
He sat facing his parents, seeing the wide-eyed fear in his mother’s eyes and the defiant look in his father’s. He tried to free himself. He had to help his parents. He wriggled with all his strength, but the ropes wouldn’t give. The man just laughed and raised his weapon. Just as the man took aim, his father looked Pavel straight in the eye, and mouthed the words, ‘I’m sorry.’
For Pavel, it seemed to happen in slow motion. He heard the gunshot and saw what looked like reddish-maroon colored powder blow out of his father’s head before the blood splattered the wall behind him like a fan. The kinetic force of the gunshot knocked his father back on his calves before he slumped forward on to the floor.
His mother opened her mouth to scream, but it was cut short when she too was executed in the same fashion. She fell to the floor, next to his father. Their blood intertwined just as their love had for many years.
Before the gunman left, he uttered a warning Pavel would never forget.
“Let this be a lesson to you.”
He was left alive and it was something he never understood, but was grateful for.
Now, running from situations was a not foreign choice to Pavel. His father took his family and ran for different reasons, but it amounted to the same contradiction Pavel currently faced. Denial. He rejected one life and replaced it with another, for better or worse.
After walking out on her, he continued to love Felice from afar. He kept up with her goings-on and where she was. He knew she moved to a bigger house and that she lost her best friend. He also saw the writings on the wall when she started spending so much time with her best friend’s widower.
Even though he couldn’t be with her, his heart was torn apart when he realized his daughter could be brought up by someone other than himself. He wanted to bring up his daughter—with Felice. When the time was right, he’d have his family.
Now, a little over fifteen years later, he climbed the rungs of the organization enough to finally learn the identity of the man in charge. This was the man who dictated all the rules and the man who put the contract out on his parents.
This organization he infiltrated in hopes of getting to Carlo, the Man, the big boss. Carlo was going to pay…and pay dearly.
They knew he dated Felice, but he was careful and let them think she was just a good lay that he took advantage of whenever he could. It was entirely too dangerous for them to realize how much he loved her. They always looked for an edge. If needed, they wouldn’t hesitate to use that against him. That was the nature of the game he played. Therefore, when he left Felice it was no big surprise to the Mancini family. They were constantly kept informed on everything about their ‘hires’ and anyone and everyone involved with them. If anyone kept anything from them, no matter what it was, it was like a personal attack in their eyes. They severely dealt with any such attack.
So far, Pavel was successful in getting to the top. It took him many years of doing things he preferred not to just to prove himself, but he was there. He was a valued asset in the organization and that’s the way he wanted it. He wanted them to depend on him. The boss finally took notice and he earned his position as Carlo’s right hand man. Being that person put him in a dangerous and morally challenging position, but it wasn’t an option. He knew what needed to be done and how he had to go about accomplishing his tasks.